As the HubPatron of the Arts contest approaches, we want to introduce you to the special Hubbers who will be serving as judges on the poetry, creative writing, and photo gallery panels.
Alastar Packer is one of the contest’s five creative writing judges. Check out our exchange as we discuss what attracts him to creative writing, the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and what Hubbers should do to improve their chances of winning the HubPatron of the Arts contest.
HubPages: You say in your bio that you mostly write non-fiction, but enjoy reading (and occasionally) writing fiction. What is it about fiction that attracts you?
Alaster Packer: The unlimited subject matter. You can go places with fiction you can’t always go in non-fiction. The writer can use creative license to take the story to heights they may be limited by with non-fiction. One may also incorporate reality and real scenarios into the stories.
Given that so many biographies and reality-based shows are actually quite fictional, and that so many fictional books, shows, and movies are based on real events, what would you say is the primary difference between nonfiction and fiction?
The perception of the reader, led by the writer, and how they present the work.
What drives you to write?
A love and knowledge of certain subjects that brings a feeling of usefulness and satisfaction when shared with others and their responses back to the subject/work.
As a judge on the fiction panel of the HubPatron of the Arts contest, what will you be looking for in entries?
As a judge on fiction quality will be focused on and the basics of writing must be in place. The piece should be free of typos, the rules of grammar followed with sentence structure. Anything in the category called art must be of the highest caliber. That is not to limit the writer from using vernacular if the setting calls for it though. That adds to the reality of a good tale.
What advice would you give to aspiring fiction writers on HubPages?
Aspiring writers should write on subjects that have not already been saturated. Even if its a romance story for example, put in something different.
[Thanks, Alastar Packer!]
For more information on the HubPatron of the Arts contest, visit the official contest page.